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Music

Get prepared for middle school music

We have several pages dedicated to helping our students get ready for Band, Choir and Orchestra this fall. Find all you need to know about picking an instrument and more on our information pages:

We look forward to having your student in our programs for the 2020-21 school year.

We are proud to provide high-quality music education to our students. See what we offer below.


Band students practicingBand

Middle School Band

Middle School Band instruction begins in sixth grade. In most cases, students are divided into "like-instrument" classes. Students practice performance skills and have several opportunities to perform in concerts and competitions.

During the first year, students study:

  • tone production

  • fingerings

  • rhythm

  • instrument care

  • basic musical terms

While it is ideal to begin band instruction in grade 6, Beginning Band is open to all middle school students.

After the first year, students are assigned to one of three performing bands:

  • Honors

  • Symphonic

  • Concert

These classes are full bands, which lets students build their ensemble skills by working as a team.

Other middle school bands include Pep band and Jazz band:

  • Pep band is a pre-marching band experience that has students perform at a few football games, pep rallies and the annual Festival of Bands.
  • Jazz band is an exploratory experience offered depending on student interest. Students in Jazz band are taught to improvise solos and play popular styles of music.

Students continue developing their skills while performing in concerts, pep rallies, football games and UIL contests. Students are also encouraged to participate in individual events such as Solo & Ensemble Contest, TMEA All-State Band and All-District Band tryouts.

How to enroll in middle school band

Enrolling for middle school band will begin during the last year of a student's elementary education.

  1. Select one of the band choices on the choice of subject form available at the elementary schools in February.

  2. The band director from the selected middle school will contact parents and invite them to a beginning band information meeting.

  3. Students will be matched to the instrument that fits them best.

It is vital that all students go through this process and not just sign up for the class that they desire. The band director should contact applicants by April 1st. If there has been no response, call them at their school for more information.

Middle School All-District Band

Each year, middle school band students are given the opportunity to audition for a position in the GISD Middle School All-District Band. The tryouts consist of the performance of selected etudes as well as scales and sight-reading. From this audition, the judges select the very top students to perform with the Middle School All-District Band.

Sachse HS band performing at a pep rallyHigh School Band

Each student must complete an audition and is then placed in the level-appropriate band. High school level band courses include:

  • Honors

  • Symphonic

  • Concert

  • Jazz

  • Fundamental Band Studies

  • Instrumental Ensemble

The various bands perform in concerts, community performances, pep rallies and contests.

Students are also encouraged to participate in individual activities such as UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest, All-City Band Tryouts, All-Region, Area and State Tryouts.

Marching band and Guard

All bands combine to form our award-winning campus marching bands and perform at athletic events and statewide competitions. Participation in the marching band provides many leadership opportunities and may satisfy physical education requirements for graduation.

Students may also participate in Guard and Winter Guard, an auxiliary unit of the marching band. These students enhance the performance with a visual interpretation of the music. Guard units may also compete independently during the winter months.


The children's choir performingChoir

Elementary

General music instruction begins in kindergarten. All
elementary children work with certified music specialists.

Most campuses offer honor choir to fourth and fifth-grade students for additional vocal training. Third and fourth graders may also audition for the Garland ISD Children's Chorus.

The Garland ISD Children's Chorus

Being a part of the Garland ISD Children’s Chorus organization is a unique experience for talented young musicians. There is one choir for fourth graders and one for fifth graders that also perform together as one mass choir.

Elementary students from every campus in our district audition each spring. Final selections are made based on an assessment including:

  • vocal technique

  • pitch matching

  • tone quality

  • degree of preparation

Students in the Children’s Chorus begin their year with a four-day summer workshop to learn the music and get acquainted with the other students. Weekly 90 minute rehearsals are held Monday nights at Luna Elementary.

Parent communications

Parents, if you would like to receive Children's Chorus email communications, please submit a request:

GCC pledge

Our Chorus students grow to be the best they can be in our sessions. We ask that our members all agree to the Chorus pledge.

Garland ISD Children’s Chorus pledge

Drop off/pick up

Practices for the Children's Chorus will be held at Luna Elementary.

Middle School

Exact course offerings vary from campus to campus, but in general, sixth-grade students participate in treble and mixed choirs. After the initial year, students are assigned to Mixed, Treble, or A Cappella Choirs based on their skill level.

High School

Students continue to develop fundamental skills and participate in a variety of performance opportunities. Each student must complete an audition and is then placed in the level-appropriate choir.

High school level courses include:

  • Treble

  • Mixed Choir

  • A Cappella Choir

  • Vocal Ensemble

Choir Performances & Contests

The performance opportunities for the various choirs include concerts, community performances, and contests. Students are also encouraged to participate in individual events such as UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest, All-Region Choir tryouts, and State Choir Tryouts.


Guitar

Classical guitar study is offered only at Garland High School.

 


Two Mariachi students performing Mariachi

Mariachi is a traditional Mexican genre of music. Our Mariachi programs:

  • celebrate the history of Mariachi music
  • promotes the cultural diversity of the district

  • encourages more minority students to participate in fine arts

Students in high school Mariachi bands perform year-round for community events and may be able to earn community service credit. These students also can choose to compete in Mariachi festivals, All-Region Mariachi and as a group in the UIL Solo and Ensemble Competition.

Middle school Mariachi

Students have the opportunity to join Mariachi programs at Austin Academy during "zero hour" or at the Jackson Technology Center during class. 

Austin Academy's classes will be taught by Jesús Pineda and Jackson Technology Center's by Rebecca De Luna.

Mariachi Estrellas

The GISD Mariachi Estrellas, or "All-Stars," is a performance group consisting of band and orchestra students from North Garland High School.  The group is a club meeting and rehearsing after school. 

Music Director: Rebecca De Luna

Mariachi Oro

The Mariachi Oro, or "Gold," is a performance group consisting of band and orchestra students from Garland High School.  Students participate in either Mariachi level one or level two ensemble classes during the school day. Classes combine for after school rehearsals to comprise Mariachi Oro. 

Music Director: Jesús Pineda

Mariachi performance dates

Performance dates Spring 2020

January 24

NGHS United Nations Club Talent Show
6:30 p.m. NGHS Mariachi Estrellas

January 28

Beaver Elementary Multicultural Night
6:30 pm NGHS Mariachi Estrellas

January 30

Region X
11:30 a.m. GHS Mariachi Oro

February 21

Club Hill Multicultural Night
6:30 pm NGHS Mariachi Estrellas

March 25

Adult ESL Parent Graduation
NGHS Auditorium 7:00 p.m. NGHS Mariachi Estrellas

April 27

Joe Garcia Elementary Awards
Curtis Culwell Center 7:00 pm GHS Mariachi Oro

April 30

GANAS Middle School Awards
 7:00 p.m. NGHS Mariachi Estrellas

May 1

Tour of Elementary Schools
NGHS Mariachi Estrellas & GHS Mariachi Oro 

May 5

Celebration of Cultures at the Granville Arts Center
 7:00 p.m. NGHS Mariachi Estrellas & GHS Mariachi Oro 


Students rehearsing on violinsOrchestra 

Beginning Orchestra

Students can start taking Orchestra in grade 4 or grade 6 depending on the campus. Students practice performance skills and have several opportunities to perform in concerts and competitions.

These classes are limited to one or a few similar instruments rather than a full orchestra. This helps students master their instruments at a faster pace. While it is best to start in beginner band in either grades 4 or 6, Beginning Orchestra is open to all middle school students.

Concert Orchestra

After the first year, students are assigned to one of three performing concert orchestras:

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • Honors

This testing is based on skill level and mastery of TEKS. These classes are full orchestras, which lets students build their ensemble skills by working as a team. In addition to further development of individual and ensemble musical skills, these orchestras offer a variety of performance opportunities including concerts, pep rallies, festivals, on-campus events and UIL assessments.  These classes continue on to the high school level and meet fine arts requirements for graduation.

Instruction in stringed instruments is offered at the elementary level at:

  • Hillside Academy for Excellence

  • Kimberlin Academy for Excellence

  • Spring Creek Elementary
  • Walnut Glen Academy for Excellence

Students interested in beginning or continuing string study at the middle school level may do so at:

  • Austin Academy for Excellence

  • Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science

  • Webb Middle School

Orchestra programs are offered at the high school level at:

  • Garland High School

  • North Garland High School

Students are also encouraged to participate in individual activities throughout middle and high school. Students may try out for UIL Solo & Ensemble Competitions, All-District Orchestra, and the TMEA All-State Tryouts. A number of scholarships are awarded to our student musicians every year.

 


Piano

Piano lab classes are offered in Garland ISD at:

  • The Classical Center at Vial

  • Austin Academy for Excellence

  • The Classical Center at Brandenburg

  • Garland High School

  • Lakeview Centennial High School

 


Music enrichment

The Music Enrichment Program is offered as an optional addition to regular classroom instruction. Students who enroll in the program will have an opportunity to work one-on-one with one of our outstanding enrichment teachers on literature and techniques specific to their specific instrument or voice.

Learn more on the Music Enrichment program page. 

For questions about the Music Enrichment Program, please contact your child’s music teacher.